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2010 World Series of Poker: PokerNews Staff Predictions Part 2

WSOP Bracelet

On Friday, we brought you half of the PokerNews Staff's 2010 World Series of Poker Main Event Final Table predictions. This group may have used a different series of complex mathematical equations - we're just trying to get these predictions right. Someone. Anyone. We don't like being wrong.

Elaine Chaivarlis, Managing Editor

1. Jonathan Duhamel
2. John Racener
3. Joseph Cheong
4. John Dolan
5. Filippo Candio
6. Matthew Jarvis
7. Michael Mizrachi
8. Jason Senti
9. Soi Nguyen

Who will be the most active player?

It's certain that all of these players are playing for first place, but Michael Mizrachi is looking at going down in the history books with a win Monday night. He's seventh in chips and is going to need to chip up early. He's not playing for second or third, so he's going to go all out.

Who will be the tightest player?

John Dolan can afford to be tight. He's to the right of chip leader Jonathan Duhamel, so he's not going to want to try anything too crazy. He can just sit back and let Duhamel do his biding for him.

How long will it take to get heads up?

After sitting in the Sky Suites at the Rio last year until early in the morning, I can only hope this year is faster, although I have to know better right? I'll go with 18.5 hours.

How many hands heads up play will consist of?

Wouldn't five just be perfect, well not for TV, but for those of us watching it live. I'll be more realistic and say 23.

Look into your crystal ball, what do you see?

Soaking up any left over magic that Penn and Teller left in the theater of their namesake, Michael Mizrachi will double up on the fourth and 19th hands and vault into the chip lead, ends up heads-up with Jonathan Duhamel and falls just short of the bracelet and Co-Player of the Year honors in second place. Oh, and this will be the last year that the WSOP Main Event Final Table will be held at the Rio All Suites Hotel and Casino.

Donnie Peters, Senior Tournament Reporter

1. Joseph Cheong
2. Michael Mizrachi
3. Jonathan Duhamel
4. John Dolan
5. John Racener
6. Filippo Candio
7. Matthew Jarvis
8. Jason Senti
9. Soi Nguyen

Who will be the most active player?

It's a toss-up in my opinion between John Racener and Michael Mizrachi. These two are the biggest names at the final table and also some of the most active. Racener has an extremely solid poker background and plenty of that comes from online. He's not afraid to get involved and play pots. He's also not afraid to make some plays, which will be very interesting to see as he's right in the middle of the pack. Mizrachi is known for playing tons of hands. He enjoys seeing flops and has great postflop ability. He's also been in the big television spotlight before, so the bright lights won't shake him one bit. He'll be active and do it early. When one of these two isn't involved in a pot, I believe the other one will be most of the time.

Who will be the tightest player?

I believe Soi Nguyen will be the tightest player. He's second from the bottom, only ahead of Jason Senti in chips, but I don't think he's the type of player to start going too crazy on the short stack. He reminds me a lot of Kelly Kim a couple years ago, although I don't think he'll be that tight. I feel that many of the other players will get involved early in many pots, so that will deter Nguyen from doing anything rash unless he picks up a big hand. He's also friends with Nam Le who has been keeping him mentally sound throughout most of the tournament. I've covered and watched Le played numerous times. He gets aggressive when he has a large stack, but sits tight and waits to pick his spots intelligently on the short stack. I believe that Nguyen will do the same sort of thing, but even be tighter seeing as this is the largest stage he'll most likely ever be on and he's only an amateur player.

How long will it take to get heads up?

Last year, it took 17.5 hours to go from nine down to two. The year before that, it took over 13.5 hours to get down to heads-up play. In 2007, it took 13.5 hours to get down to two. Those are some really long days, and it's not going to get any shorter this year. These guys all have a lot of talent. When talent combines with deep stacks and a long, slow structure, you're going to be in for a long-ass day of poker. I'm going to say it's going to take no less than 18 hours to get down to two. When play gets three handed, there's an effective "bubble" from three players to two. The final three know that once they get there, one more elimination and they're done. If they survive, they get a day off and return on Monday to play heads up for glory. That's going to slow the game up a bit right there. My guess would put it somewhere between the 18- and 20-hour mark, so get your coffee ready.

How many hands heads up play will consist of?

Here's how many hands were played during heads-up play over the past couple of years:

2004 - 3
2005 - 6
2006 - 7
2007 - 36
2008 - 104
2009 - 88

Players are a lot better these days — a lot. They don't just get it in within the first few hands. The stacks are deeper and unless Filippo Candio finds his way to heads up, I see another 75- or 100-hand heads-up match taking place. There will be plenty of limping the button, plenty of button min-raises in attempt to play small-pot poker. Especially with the day off in between, the final two players are given an extra day to let it sink in that they're heads-up for the greatest poker championship in the world. That's going to rattle most and cause them to play a lot more cautiously. They won't want to go nuts and make a mistake. Last year, only last 88 hands as compared to the 104 from Ivan Demidov versus Peter Eastgate, but Darvin Moon was a big spaz and doesn't really understand how to play small pots. With this table being full of talent, the players are going to try and let the skill play out and not just gamble for it all.

Look into your crystal ball, what do you see?

Michael Mizrachi will have the largest cheering section we've ever seen. He's having specialty shirts made for his fans, and they're already a rowdy bunch. Put them on the final table stage, give them some alcohol, and all of this after a three-month lead up to the final table. Mizrachi's been out and campaigning big and his family doesn't know how to do it anything else but big. Anyone and everyone he knows will be on hand, and the place may explode. Also, the talent and skill will rise to the top. The players with the most talent at the final table will make their way to the top of this one.

Lynn Gilmartin, PokerNews Producer/Hostess

1. John Racener
2. Jonathan Duhamel
3. Joseph Cheong
4. John Dolan
5. Michael Mizrachi
6. Filippo Candio
7. Matthew Jarvis
8. Soi Nguyen
9. Jason Senti

Who will be the most active player?

I would say Michael Mizrachi but his stack doesn't really allow for it unless things work for him early on. So I'm going with my predicted champion, John Racener.

Who will be the tightest player?

Jonathan Duhamel will nurse that big stack, just getting involved when he's got the goods.

How long will it take to get heads up?

I'm going for a massive 20 hours.

How many hands heads-up play will consist of?

Forty-four. I predict John Racener to have a dominating lead going into heads-up play.

Mickey Doft, Staff Writer and Tournament Reporter

1. John Dolan
2. Joseph Cheong
3. Jonathan Duhamel
4. John Racener
5. Matt Jarvis
6. Filippo Candio
7. Soi Nguyen
8. Michael Mizrachi
9. Jason Senti

Who will be the most active player?

I think Joseph Cheong will be the most active. When he senses weakness from an opponent, he likes to seize control of the hand. I foresee a lot of this happening come Saturday, and since I have him making it to heads-up play, I can't choose Mizrachi.

Who will be the tightest player?

I don’t see anybody playing overly tight, but I think Soi Nguyen will be very patient until he has a premium hand to get his chips in.

How long will it take to get heads up?

They played for a long time on the final table bubble; therefore, they aren’t as deep as they should be. I see play being a bit quicker this year than years past, taking about 12 to 13 hours.

How many hands heads-up play will consist of?

This is a skilled final table and when my picks John Dolan and Cheong make it to heads-up, neither will want to just ship it in a race situation unless they have something like queens vs ace-king. I see it lasting a while, a la Peter Eastgate vs. Ivan Demidov in the 100-hand range.

Look into your crystal ball, what do you see?

Filippo Candio is going to make some weird plays. On the bubble, he played extremely tight and then threw in a three-bet shove for about 40 big blinds. Expect something bizarre from him again.

Soon enough, we'll know who the 2010 WSOP Main Event champion will be, so remember to keep it locked to the Live Reporting page as the Live Reporting Team brings you all the action from the felt inside the Penn & Teller Theater in the Rio All Suites Hotel and Casino.

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